08-09-2022  1:55 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

NEWS BRIEFS

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Personal Information of Some in Jails Possibly Compromised

A statement from the county said names, dates of birth and photos — as well as medical information like diagnoses and treatments —...

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

Voters who need to register to vote, get a replacement ballot, or use an assistive device are encouraged to visit Vote Centers on...

Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division found Ji Li, owner of Bao Bao House in Eugene, Oregon violated the Fair Labor...

Justice Department asks judge to pause Idaho abortion ban

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal judge this week to bar Idaho from enforcing its near-total abortion ban while a lawsuit pitting federal health care law against state anti-abortion legislation is underway. Meanwhile, the Republican-led Idaho...

US sued in bid to force decision on Rockies wolf protections

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates sued federal officials Tuesday after the government missed a deadline to decide if protections for gray wolves should be restored across the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains, where Republican-led states have made it easier to kill the predators. ...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Missouri family says racism led to pool party cancellation

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — A Black family says racism prompted officials at a suburban Kansas City water park to cancel a private pool party for their 17-year-old son's birthday during the weekend. Chris Evans said he signed a contract with Summit Waves Aquatic Facility in Lee's...

Grand jury declines to indict woman in Emmett Till killing

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A grand jury in Mississippi has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago, despite revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and an unpublished memoir by the woman, a prosecutor said...

Town honors Ahmaud Arbery day after end of hate crimes case

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A crowd of dozens chanted on a sweltering street corner Tuesday as Ahmaud Arbery's hometown unveiled new street signs honoring the young Black man who was fatally shot after being chased by three white men in a nearby neighborhood — a crime local officials vowed to never...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Rough-start novel with redemptive, touching finish

“Mika in Real Life” by Emiko Jean (William Morrow) Mika Suzuki is a directionless, 35-year-old Japanese woman with a big secret: She gave her daughter up for adoption at 19. Emiko Jean’s latest novel, “Mika in Real Life,” takes place as Mika takes on a major...

New this week: 'Day Shift' and 'Five Days at Memorial'

Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. MOVIES — One of the best movies of the year is finally streaming. “Belle,” Mamoru Hosoda's tour-de-force...

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Vatican cardinal honors Jewish convert, tells his own story

ROME (AP) — A Vatican cardinal marked the 80th anniversary Tuesday of the gas chamber killing of the Jewish-born...

Biden signs 0B CHIPS act in bid to boost US over China

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a 0 billion bipartisan bill to boost domestic...

Ilhan Omar faces centrist rival; open House seat in Vermont

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the biggest stars of the left, is facing a centrist challenger in her...

Lawmakers in India pass energy conservation bill

BENGALURU, India (AP) — India took another step toward meeting its climate goals Tuesday when lawmakers in...

Hamas issues, then rescinds, sweeping rules on Gaza coverage

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers issued sweeping new restrictions on journalists after the...

In reversal, Brazil court reopens case of rainforest park

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — After declaring the decision final, a state court backpedaled Monday and reopened a...

Matti Friedman and Diaa Hadid the Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) -- In an unprecedented endeavor, a few Muslim believers are crossing the Holy Land's volatile boundaries of culture, faith and politics to bring Islam to Israel's Jews - hoping, improbably, that some will be willing to renounce their religion for a new one.

The bearded men approach Jews in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and try, in polite and fluent Hebrew, to convert them.

"I must tell you about the true faith," said one missionary in a cobblestone plaza outside Jerusalem's Old City. He carried a knapsack full of pamphlets about Islam in several languages, including Hebrew. "You can do with it what you want. But telling you is our duty."

Most people, he said, brush him off and keep walking.

A computer programmer educated at an Israeli college, he sported a scraggly beard, loose pants and a long shirt typical of the purist Muslims known as Salafis. He gave his name only as Abu Hassan.

There are no signs the endeavor has met with any success. Only about a dozen Muslims are involved. Most of the handful of Jews who convert do so to marry Muslim men, rather than from proselytizing. Still, the act of spreading Islam in Hebrew is profound, reflecting a striking confidence on the part of some Muslims, members of Israel's Arab minority.

It also reflects the influence of conservative Islamic trends that emphasize spreading the religion, transmitted through web forums and satellite channels from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Abu Hassan said that in years of conflict with Israel, Muslims, embattled and angry, neglected their responsibility to preach their faith to nonbelievers, including Jews.

"Muslims did not want to talk, and Jews did not want to listen. But Jews also need to hear the truth," he said.

Yitzhak Reiter, a professor at the Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies, said he had not seen anything similar in 30 years of studying local Islam. "This is the first time that someone has tried to convert Jews to Islam in the state of Israel," he said.

The efforts seem to have attracted no public notice so far. But the missionaries are treading on a potentially explosive taboo. Centuries of persecution and aggressive conversion attempts by Christian and Muslim majorities have made Jews, numbering 13 million people worldwide, deeply hostile to proselytizing. Israeli law places some restrictions on missionary activity, forbidding targeting minors or offering financial incentives, but does not outlaw it altogether.

The Holy Land's Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities all hold strong religious, tribal and ethnic bonds and deeply resist conversion. The result is a sort of loose understanding not to push the boundaries.

Azzam Khatib, a top Muslim official in Jerusalem, said the efforts to proselytize in Hebrew were not mainstream, but acceptable: "Whoever wants to join, they are welcome - but without any pressure."

Four years ago, Abu Hassan said, an Israeli Jew approached him with questions about Islam. At the time, he was distributing Islamic material to foreign tourists around the Old City.

Abu Hassan realized there was almost no missionary Muslim literature in Hebrew, so he and a few associates put together a Hebrew booklet. Since then, he said, they have distributed several thousand copies, he said.

Titled "The Path to Happiness," the booklet invites the reader to "think, and take advantage of this invaluable opportunity in which we are trying to take your hand and lead you to the eternal light."

The missionaries are wary of revealing personal details, fearing harassment. Somebody has already hacked Abu Hassan's cell phone, changing his voice mail message to a string of Hebrew curses against him and Muhammad, the Muslim prophet.

Most of those Abu Hassan engages ignore him, he said. Many are derisive, some verbally abusive. At one point Israeli intelligence agents questioned him about his funding, he said. He told them it came from donations in mosques.

"People curse me. But I do my job, and this is my job as a Muslim. I must explain gently, and in a nice way, about Allah," he said.

He dodged questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying only that historically the "best times" for Jews came under Islamic rule and suggesting peace would come if Jews accepted Islam.

Abu Hassan and his companions are informally linked to a small, three-year-old organization known as the Mercy Committee for New Muslims, founded by Emad Younis, a charismatic, blue-eyed preacher from the north Israel town of Ara.

Younis said the committee is not primarily aimed at winning converts. It helps those who do convert adapt to life as Muslims and seeks to explain a moderate version of Islam to non-Muslims, particularly Israeli Jews, by distributing promotional material.

The number of converts remains tiny.

Israel's Justice Ministry, which registers converts, could not say how many Jews become Muslims. It said 400 and 500 of Israel's nearly 8 million people change their faith every year - many of them Christians joining different Christian sects. Reiter, the professor, said his research suggested about 20 converts a year to Islam, almost all women marrying Muslim men.

Younis of the Mercy Committee said most new converts were indeed women married to Muslims, and the majority were originally from the former Soviet Union, part of the 1990s wave of Eastern European immigration to Israel. The newcomers are less susceptible to taboos against intermarriage and conversion.

At a recent gathering for new Muslims, 55 converts came with their families - five of them native-born Israeli Jews, all of them women, Younis said.

One woman, a 20-year-old, converted in June to marry her Muslim husband.

"The Muslims greeted me with love I never got from my parents, and the women here say, 'You're one of us now,'" she said, giving only her new Arabic first name, Yasmin.

Yasmin lives in the Arab town of Taibeh in central Israel, a short drive from the traditional Jewish home in which she grew up. But she can't go back since her family, too, has disowned her.

"I have nothing now but my husband and Islam," she said.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events